One of the most important things you need as an author is a website. A website is crucial in any authors journey. Why? Your author website is the hub of all you do. It is the central place you send your readers to before you send them to your social media accounts. It’s the place where you have your blog, gain newsletter subscribers, post announcements and host contests. If you don’t have an author website, you are pretty much invisible. Social media is great, but you do need to have your piece of real estate on the internet.
Why You Need an Author Website
When you establish your website, you now have a piece of real estate on the web that you own. You can write or post anything you want and not have to worry about it being taken down. You can customize your site and make it look exactly the way you want. It is yours. There are many reasons why having a website is so important.
1. Your site is something that you own and control.
2. Your site is the central hub where you will send your readers for the latest info on your blog, books, and promotions.
3. You can host a blog on your site and write about anything you want.
4. Your website is how you will get subscribers to your newsletter. Why is this important? Because you can build a relationship with these people, who are your tribe. In return, they are more likely to connect and interact with you. They are also more likely to support the next book, course, or other promotion you have going on. As long as you give them value, this will be a win-win for both of you. Building relationships are key.
5. You can customize your site and make it look how you want.
The Key Elements of an Author Website
There are several key elements that you will want on your website. You should have a page for each of the following categories.
Home Page-This page is the first thing people will see when they look at your site. My home page consists of my blog posts, but I have seen other authors feature upcoming books and contests. Look at the websites of your favorite authors and find inspiration on their homepages.
About Me Page-This page should tell your readers more about you. It is best to write it as a story to grab people’s attention.
Books Page-On this page you will add your cover images and links to where people can buy your books.
Blog Page-If your posts don’t appear on your home page, this is where you will write and post them.
Portfolio/Work With Me-If you are an author who is also a writer for hire, these pages are where you will want to display your work and explain why clients should work with you. Your portfolio page will be where you post links to your published works such as articles and blog posts on other sites. Your “work with me” page should be written as an attention-grabbing story and include your rates.
Events-You can post where you will appear to sign books.
Disclosure-This means that you are disclosing something to your readers, such as you get a small commission from affiliate links. My policy also includes that the advice I give is strictly that and is for informational purposes only. It also states that I can change how I manage and run my blog at any time and that I can change the content or direction of my blog at any time.
Social Media Buttons-These are essential for your readers to share your blog posts. You can add these to your site via a plugin.
How to Set Up an Author Website
We have covered why you need an author website and the essential elements of an author website. Now it’s time to talk about how to set up an author website. Many people are overcome with tech phobia when thinking about setting up their website. I understand. I had no idea what I was doing when I set up my very first site, and it looked horrible. However, you have nothing to fear. There is lots of information and videos about how to set up your website. However, there are three things you must do beforehand.
- Buy your domain name.
- Buy your hosting from a different company than your domain name.
- Purchase a paid theme. Some “free themes” can have viruses.
Why buy from different places? Buying from two different places is a good thing to do in case your site gets hacked, and your hosting company shuts down your site. This way, you may have lost your website but you will still have your domain name and can rebuild your site from scratch. As far as setting up your site, WordPress is the easiest way to do it. All you have to do is go on YouTube and type in “How to set up a WordPress site.” and you will find lots of tutorials to walk you through it.
Now you know why you need an author website, the essential pages you need on your site, what you need to buy to set up your site, and where to go to get help setting up your site. I understand that it can be scary and mind boggling, but you’ve got this. Take the time to start setting up your author website today.